Monthly Archives: January 2014

Monday Morning JOY!

I went to visit a local voluntary group called Just Older Youth (JOY) this morning and I have to say I was blown away by their energy and enthusiasm! On Mondays they run three separate events in three separate venues; Tai-Chi (£2.00), Seated Exercise (£1.50) and a “Chop and Chat” group.  There was a fantastic community spirit underpinning all of these events and everyone was having such a good time.  JOY is operated entirely by volunteers and I think they are a shining example of how the voluntary sector works at its best to produce cost-effective solutions in response to localised concerns.

The approach of JOY is really neatly summed up by their name; they want to consider older people who live locally as people, just young people, who happen to be a bit older.  They still crave social interaction, and get a buzz from physical activity, and want to be able to contribute to their community.

JOY are always looking for new people to attend their groups and classes, so if you fancy taking part or know someone who does, check out their list of activities.

I also wonder if there are other groups or organisations in the Borough that are similar to JOY and operate in other areas.  Do you work for one? Do you know of one?  If so, we’d love to hear about them, so please get in touch!

Post by Henry

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Could you be a befriender?

First off, I would like to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year and I hope you enjoyed your break from work, time with your family, or your time at work if you were working through the festive period. This is also a good opportunity to share with you our new flyer which is doing the rounds; please do share it with friends and colleagues:

Community_connections_flyer_PDF_HiRes

Whilst the spirit of giving may be rapidly fading from your mind as normal life resumes, I wanted to take the opportunity to throw another log on the charitable fire by highlighting one of the most significant needs we have uncovered through our work in Lewisham since November; the need for befrienders.

Befrienders are volunteers who go out and visit people in their homes for a couple of hours per week, maybe do some odd jobs round the house for them, and possibly support them to get out for a bit of fresh air or some shopping. They provide an absolutely essential service for people who are isolated in their homes because of illness or disability and can have a profound effect on that person’s quality of life. Befrienders will find they benefit themselves from the interaction with the person they are supporting who might share a skill with them, regale them with stories from their past, or offer advice drawn from a lifetime of experience.

There are a number of organisations in Lewisham who offer befriending services including Age UK Lewisham and Southwark (http://www.ageuk.org.uk/lewishamandsouthwark/), Voluntary Services Lewisham (http://www.vslonline.org.uk/) and Independent Age (http://www.independentage.org/) but they all need more volunteers to continue to meet ever increasing need.  So if you think you could be a befriender, get in touch with one of them, or contact us at: communityconnections@ageuklands.org.uk.

Alternatively, maybe you work for an organisation that is considering developing a new befriending service in Lewisham, if so please send us an email, we’d love to hear from you and offer support from our community development team.

Post by Henry